Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Chagos to Seychelles


The coconut crabs have grown a bit since they became protected

We managed to be in Chagos (Salomon Atoll) for the exact dates on our permit (May 1 through May 28), which is pretty lucky given the vagaries of wind and weather. We saw exactly three boats while we were there (not counting the illegal fishing boat that we spotted several miles away): Time Bandit, Skylark, and Georgia. For about a week, it was just us and the wildlife.

Our resident black-tip reef sharks getting the remains of our catch.

The extreme absence of humans has created a unique haven for the fish and animals (even more so than relatively remote areas of the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea). With an already stringent permit process for visiting cruisers, Covid has shrunk the number of visitors this year to just a handful.


Conrad with his catch (coral trout)

All this meant that we got to see a flourishing bird, fish and crab population that hardly anyone can. The fish went after every lure put in front of them. We could have reached out and touched the nesting boobies if we had tried and saw more coconut crabs than we ever have.

When our four weeks were up, on a wind and current forecast that was decent, we lifted anchor and headed to the Seychelles. Our eight-day passage was a mixed bag of wind, weather, and waves. There were a few squalls, 4-meter swells, bumpy current lines, and variable winds. We dove almost 200 miles south of the rhumb line (most direct route) to try and keep IN the winds and OUT of the opposing current--a strategy that mostly worked. It wasn't the fastest passage ever, but we sailed the whole time and even dusted off the asymmetrical spinnaker for an extra boost as we approached the Seychelles. 

The obligatory damage report: Our whisker pole got damaged during one of the bumpier parts of the passage and then a rip developed in the jib. One of the engine bilge pumps also decided to stop working, requiring that we manually pump out the stray seawater that wanders in during bigger seas. It could have been worse.

The 'yacht club' at Ile Boddam

The beautiful hills of the Seychelles were a welcome sight after a week plus at sea (even the kids said, 'It's gorgeous!', which are not words you hear often from a teenager about scenery).

Cemetery at Ile Boddam with Time Bandit

People are allowed to come in periodically to tend to the cemetery grounds.

Ruins of the settlement at Ile Boddam

The church at Ile Boddam

It's a coconut crab in a coconut shell. We continued to find that amusing during our whole stay.

Boobies! (red-footed). The fuzzy one is the chick and the other one is the Mom.

Eel at low tide. Watch your toes.

Hermit crab shell swap.

Ile de la Passe

Non-native wildlife

One of the smaller snappers


  1. Stunning photos , many thanks 🙏

  2. It all looks and sounds like an AMAZING adventure!! Thanks for sharing!!


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